LOCH Lomond’s first team maintained their unbeaten start to life in the West District’s first division with a battling 1-1 draw with Hillhead’s third XI at Hermitage Academy on Saturday.

After a month away from hockey, the home side did well to match their opponents and keep their own structure as Hillhead came out fighting from the start.

Loch Lomond soon settled into their own game, with Vanessa Sabala distributing the ball from the centre of the pitch, while Ali Smith and Bongiwe Tshabalala made some great runs with Heather Cullen having a few shots on target which were saved by the Hillhead goalkeeper.

A sustained spell of pressure on the Hillhead defence midway through the half saw Loch Lomond awarded a short corner, from which Vicki Perry found the net with a cracker of a strike from the top of the D.

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That gave the hosts a real confidence boost, and they reached half time without being troubled by the visitors’ attack.

Hillhead had some great runs up the pitch early in the second half, but Evie Harkins and Lauren McCreadie matched their speed and kept them outside the danger area, while Sue Aikman and Vicki Perry made some lovely tackles in the centre of the pitch and constantly kept at the Hillhead strikers.

Throughout the second half there were a few heart-in-mouth moments as the Hillhead team broke through the home defence, but goalkeeper Elaine Brown made some great saves to keep Loch Lomond’s lead intact.

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But despite a great team effort and strong tracking back from the midfielders, Hillhead were able to even the scoresheet with 15 minutes to go.

Loch Lomond, however, held out well, fighting to the end in a great team performance after a long spell without any competitive action and securing a well-deserved draw.

The player of the match prize was awarded to Vicki Perry for her determination throughout the whole match; the runners-up were Elaine Brown and Vanessa Sabala.

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Hillhead gave their Loch Lomond player of the match award to Vanessa Sabala.

Squad: Elaine Brown, Sue Aikman, Vicky Perry, Lauren McCreadie, Evie Harkins, Fiona Thompson, Kirsten Bruce, Vanesa Sabala, Eliza Ritchie, Sophia McDermott, Jenny Tripney, Bongiwe Tshabalala, Ali Smith, Heather Cullen.

A huge thank you as always to Andy Richardson for umpiring, and to Rosie McColgan for coaching and encouraging every player.

Follow Loch Lomond Hockey Club on Instagram or at loch-lomondhockey.club.

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